Mexico - Tlaquepaque, Tonala market, Leon

Friday July 27
We did not want to leave this wonderful B&B. We were very spoiled in the past few days. The cook even made me a special scrambled egg breakfast. We walked to a regional ceramics museum. Both of us were in awe of the artistry and craftsmanship put into these ceramic works. We took pictures of the building which housed the ceramics. It, of course, was build around a courtyard.

Many domes some with cupolas, helped shape the topography of the roof. On the way out of Tlaquepaque we saw a horse pulling a cart; his master was collecting and distributing cooking oil.

On the road to our next city we drove up to a high mesa or plateau. We drove through cattle country, more cows than I have seen even in fields in Alberta. We were approaching the city of Leon. I would call Leon the city of shoes. There was not just a block of shoe stores, there were blocks of malls full of shoe stores and plus blocks of shoe stores. It is a very big city even though I have never heard of it. When trying to find the area of shoes we kept driving around and around one area, I felt like I was in the movie Ground Hog Day. We saw our first Previa van in Mexico, it had California license plates.

The driver honked at us; guess he hasn't seen to many Previas either. Going to a classy restaurant appears to be cheaper and classier than I have seen in Canada. We went to one such restaurant in Leon called No Come Me. The service was superb. We spent the night at the Paris Hotel, Pepe also got a room that night.

Thursday July 26

We woke up feeling relatively fine compared to yesterday. We ate and strolled around the Spanish style courtyard drinking tea and taking photos. We realized it was Thursday, we picked up the pace. Thursday is market day in Tonala, a suburb close to Tlaquepaque. This mercardo in Tonala is renowned for its pottery. Getting there required that we somehow get through the gridlocked traffic coming out of Guadalajara. It was a huge market with some good pottery and blown glass (great prices we found out later). Mostly the other stuff wasn't that great.

One must be careful buying pottery and blown glass - there does appear to be different qualities. We had just gone through a maze of shops and vendors before we realized we had lost track of exactly where we had parked Pepe, our trusty van. We are not very seasoned travellers. Getting out of Tonala was difficult, because of traffic, although Ken did manage to find a sneaky back way. Once arriving back at Tlaquepapue it poured rain but we managed to go for a margarita even after our yesterdays digestive difficulties. (Ken adds this note; "we lost one day to an upset stomach and were then up and shopping and running a tab at the hotel bar on an empty stomach ...not seasoned she says... I don't think so).

Wednesday July 25
We awoke to our wonderful B & B (not giving up its name here, our little secret). The walls in the bathroom were all tiled, as was the whole vanity for the sink. The ceilings where exposed, old brick and beams. The bed was huge with and intricately engraved headboard. The rest of the restored building was built around a courtyard with tile and exposed brick everywhere.

There were big Barro Brunido ceramic pots and plates covering tables and walls throughout.

There was one set on restrooms done in a Day of the Dead motif, from the ceramic sinks the the metal figures on the mirrors and ceilings. The ground had lime trees, passion flowers,

......There was an old exposed arch they had redesigned into a fountain. The fountain drained into a pool with lilies, lily pads and gold fish. That was only one of the fountains. The others were made of concrete with live flowers around the edges. There was also a tiled pool for swimming.

We met the little dog named Chiquita. Since we had to leave our pup, El Hectoro Grande, at home it was sure nice to get to pet this friendly little dog. The food for breakfast was also first class, as was the staff. That first day there I dragged myself around to even get up and about. Once we managed to get up and about to explore Tlaquepaque I immediately had to go rushing back to the B&B. For any of you seasoned travellers you know why I had to go rushing back. Travelling, drinking different water and eating different food can certainly upset the digestive track. After that experience I fell asleep by the pool after walking around and admiring the grounds. Both of us started consuming Po Chai pills, given to us by our Doctor of Chinese medicine on Gabriola. We spent the rest of the day working on getting the blog updated. We did not eat again that day.

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